Certainly you know by now that Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) has been released. As anticipated, some systems have had problems after installation of the new service pack. But many people report that their installations have been successful and without incident.
Some of you might want to wait until later to install SP2. If you use Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS) or Automatic Updates, you'll probably need to disable SP2 installation until you're ready for it. Microsoft has released two tools to help: "Toolkit to Temporarily Block Delivery of Windows XP SP2 to a PC Through Automatic Updates and Windows" (at the first URL below) and "Executable to Un-block Delivery of Windows XP SP2 to a PC Through Automatic Updates and Windows Update" (at the second URL below).
If you want to slipstream SP2 into your XP installation packages, Adrian Earnshaw posted a link in the NTBugtraq mailing list (at the first URL below) that points to an article on the Windows-Help.NET Web site that describes step-by-step how to create a slipstream package (at the second URL below).
Some people might have difficulty with Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) after installing SP2. Rod Trent posted a link in the PatchManagement.org mailing list (at the first URL below) that points to an FAQ on the myITforum.com Web site. The FAQ (at the second URL below) tells how to correct certain problems with SP2 and SMS that might relate to Distributed COM (DCOM) and access through port 135.
If you're looking for information and tools from Microsoft related to SP2, try the search engine at the Microsoft Download Center. If you select Windows XP as the Product/Technology and enter the keywords "Service Pack 2," you'll find lots of articles, tools, and reference material to help you.
The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) also has a Web page--the Microsoft Security Developer Center--that lists lots of security resources for developers, including a course, "Windows XP Service Pack 2 Training for Developers," which provides "awareness of the implications in the deployment of Service Pack 2 on computers running on the Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Editions and how the application developer will be affected by them."
At Microsoft's support site, you'll find a Web page that contains lots of links to a few known issues, as well as troubleshooting, step-by-step help, and more. You'll also find a link to an upcoming Webcast, "Understanding Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2," which is scheduled for August 19, 10:00 A.M. Pacific Time.
One more resource you might find helpful is the "Windows XP Service Pack 2 Experiences" Web forum hosted by the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center. The forum has classified posts according to the poster's experience with SP2--that is, whether he or she had "no problems," "small problems," "big problems, but solvable," "big problems, could not use/install," "had to rebuild system," or "no opinion." If you're having trouble with SP2, you might read the forum's posts or use its search engine to see whether anyone had similar trouble and found a solution.